Nuclear Policy News – May 24, 2019

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DOD Official Urges Recapitalizing Nuclear Triad Now
U.S. Department of Defense

Managing Nuclear Risks: The Emerging Technologies Challenge
The Diplomat – Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Senior German Diplomat in Tehran for Nuclear Deal Talks
U.S. News & World Report

U.S. Nuclear News

DOD Official Urges Recapitalizing Nuclear Triad Now
U.S. Department of DefenseMay 23, 2019
The deterrence provided by America’s nuclear triad — nuclear capability delivered by submarines, from the ground, and from bomber aircraft — underwrites everything its men and women in uniform do, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear matters said. “Our nuclear deterrent is used every day,” Peter Fanta said, speaking at a Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies breakfast May 23 in Washington. That triad needs to be recapitalized now, or the United States will find itself with zero deterrence capability, Fanta said.

As nuclear weapons risk escalates, debate grows about ‘vintage’ US arsenal
Fox News5/23/2019
How does the arsenal of American — the only country to use a nuke against an enemy — compare to those other states?

Trump prepared to bypass Congress on Saudi arms sale: senators
Al Jazeera5/23/2019
US arms control law allows Congress to reject weapons sales to foreign countries but an exemption in the law allows the president to waive the need for congressional approval by declaring a national security emergency. “My guess is that if they are declaring an emergency it has to do with Iran but there is no new emergency inside Yemen, there is no new emergency why Saudi Arabia needs precision-guided missiles,” Senator Chris Murphy said. Tensions between Iran and the US mounted this month, a year after Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

East Asia

North Korea Blames US for Failed Summit, Urges ‘New Calculation’
North Korea said on Friday an “arbitrary and dishonest” U.S. position had resulted in the failure to reach a deal during a second North Korea-U.S. summit, warning the nuclear issue would never be resolved without a new approach.

Multilateral Arms Control

Managing Nuclear Risks: The Emerging Technologies Challenge
The Diplomat – Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan5/24/2019
Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and hypersonic weapons, among others, are posing new questions to the traditional understanding of stability and deterrence. These emerging technologies are unfortunately not being discussed enough within Track 1 NPT platforms as directly as they should be.

Will non-proliferation and nuclear restraint be weakened in 2020?
European Leadership Network – Rebecca Johnson5/24/2019
In diplomatic terms, the 2019 PrepCom was better than feared. Ably chaired by Malaysia’s Ambassador Syed Md Hasrin Syed Hussin, the meeting adopted necessary procedural requirements, including the nomination of Argentina’s Ambassador Rafael Grossi as president of next year’s RevCon. However, despite the Chair’s valiant efforts, the PrepCom could not agree on substantive recommendations on the major issues it had been discussing for two weeks.

Middle East

Senior German Diplomat in Tehran for Nuclear Deal Talks
U.S. News & World Report5/23/2019
A senior German diplomat headed Thursday to Tehran to press Iran to continue to respect the landmark nuclear deal, despite the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. and increasing pressure from Washington.

South Asia

Modi’s definitive win may mean a more assertive India
CNBC Markets
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, emerging victorious after his country announced election results on Thursday, may begin his next term with renewed attentions toward national security issues.

Pakistan PM Khan Congratulates India’s Modi on Election Victory, Calls for Peace
U.S. News & World Report5/23/2019
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated India’s Narendra Modi on the runaway election victory of his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In a possible warning to India, Pakistan also announced that it has conducted a training launch of a Shaheen II, surface-to-surface ballistic missile, which it said is capable of delivering conventional and nuclear weapons at a range of up to 1,500 miles.


Nuclear-armed North Korea hampers regional security
Korea Times – Mahmood Elahi5/24/2019
Most U.S. policymakers argue, given the treacherous nature of the North Korean regime, Kim cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. He might strike or at least threaten the United States to stay out of the Korean Peninsula or suffer nuclear annihilation. Kim’s nuclear saber rattling does not help either.

Donald Trump’s North Korea Strategy Is Not Working With Iran
Newsweek – Tom O’Connor5/23/2019
President Donald Trump’s attempts to obtain diplomacy through “maximum pressure” may have witnessed some initial success with North Korea, but the White House has thus far struggled to do the same with Iran—and this strategy could backfire in both cases.

Risk of nuclear war is highest since WW2, perhaps it is time to start paying attention
RT Op-ed- Darius Shahtahmasebi5/23/2019
Having become disillusioned with this particular noteworthy development being buried under the media’s radar for far too long, director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) Renata Dwan has spoken out against the threat of nuclear war, calling it an “urgent” issue that the world should take more seriously.

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